Vladek Filler was found not guilty of raping his wife in a retrial of the 2007 charges. Read about it here (Bangor Daily News, 5/27/11). Filler is the Maine man who was charged with rape and two counts of misdemeanor assault by his wife Ligia.
Despite being advised by police to be examined medically for evidence of rape, Filler’s accuser refused to do so. In fact, it was almost a month after the alleged incident that she thought to complain about it at all. And that was immediately after Filler had told her he was going to leave her and attempt to get custody of their two children.
Ligia had made false allegations against other men before.
So there was no physical evidence of abuse at the first trial and the couple’s son, who was 11 at the time told police that it was Ligia who had assaulted Vladek, not the other way around. But Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett took the case to trial anyway and won convictions on all three counts.
Vladek was released on bail pending his appeal and, amazingly enough, was given custody of the two children. The appellate court overturned his conviction and remanded the case for a new trial which came to an end last Friday with ‘not guilty’ verdicts on the rape charge and one of the assault charges. Filler was found guilty on the third misdemeanor assault charge. He was released pending sentencing which, if there’s any justice, will be time already served.
Even that charge, despite the jury’s verdict, seems dubious. Here’s the description by the Bangor Daily News of the ‘evidence’ supporting it:
“Filler”s wife testified her memory was unclear about the alleged physical assaults and, though there was testimony about Filler”s wife having a bruise around the time of the second alleged assault, there has been no clear evidence
introduced at trial about how she got that bruise.”
So Filler’s announced that he’ll appeal that too.
The taxpayers of the county in which the case was tried have spent who knows what amount of money to persecute a man who looks to me to have done nothing wrong. That’s mostly thanks to the latest misdeeds of ADA Kellett whose record of prosecuting men for evidence-free allegations of sex crimes has been well-documented elsewhere.
From here Kellett looks like another true believer who swallows any story told by a woman about a man committing an illegal sex act. The canons of ethics for prosecuting attorneys include the concept of exercising professional judgment about what cases to prosecute and which ones to drop. Kellett seems to have little understanding of which sexual assault cases are meritorious and which ones aren’t. And the taxpayers of the state pay the price for her inability.
Of course a man who is surely innocent of the only serious charge against him has paid an enormous price in attorneys fees, heartache, anguish and time behind bars. He should never have had to do any of that. A responsible prosecutor would have looked at the case and seen that the allegations originated during a custody case, there was no physical evidence, the couple’s older child said it was his mother who was violent, the accuser was mentally unstable and had made false accusations before. That same responsible prosecutor would have dropped the case like a hot rock.
And speaking of cases, in l’affaire Filler, there is actually an assault case that has some evidence to back it up. The Filler’s oldest son said he saw his mother hit his father in the face on at least one occasion. Since the testimony comes from the son and not a party to a divorce case who’s trying to gain the upper hand, it carries enough weight to convict.
So where’s the DA’s office on charging Ligia Filler with assaulting her husband? No word on that as yet.